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In survivor mode since mid-season, the Montreal Impact go to hostile land at BBVA Compass Stadium. Facing a strong but inconsistent Dynamo team, Montreal can take on Houston even if the hosts are unbeaten at their new stadium.
The Montreal Impact continue to survive on a thread to make the 2012 MLS playoffs. More of a mathematical chance than an actual chance to make it, the Impact face what could be a potential arch-enemy : the Houston Dynamo. Both teams exchanged humiliating victories (5-2 for Montreal & 3-0 for Houston) and the third and final encounter between both teams will be the tie breaker.
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With Brad Davis possibly out due to an injury and Collen Warner suspended, both teams' midfield and formation will change. We might even see a 4-4-2 matchup at BBVA Compass Stadium with both teams able to support those formations.
Brad Davis' potential absence might be a blessing in the sky for Montreal as Felipe Martins would have found more space. Unfortunately, Felipe did not make the trip to Houston due to a groin strain, confirmed on Thursday. Not having Brad Davis there to be a thorn in one's thigh can only be a good thing. Still a very good Oscar Boniek Garcia will challenge the Montreal midfield. The physical and talented Honduran midfielder has 3 goals, 6 assists in 15 games since joining the Houston Dynamo.
With his new Super-Sub status, Brian Ching has found a new role in this team with Will Bruin being the main target up front. Macoumba Kandji was a nightmare for the Impact defense and the defensive aspect of the game needs to be sharp. Alessandro Nesta and Matteo Ferrari need to ride a tight ship but will receive a lot of help from Troy Perkins who should take out a lot of pressure.
Between the residual Ching-Gate drama, the Moffat/Felipe incident and a playoff race, this game could realistically be the spark that this dormant rivalry might need.
Houston Dynamo: Hall - Sarkodie , Boswell , Taylor, Ashe - Garcia , R. Clark , Moffat , Carr - Bruin, Ching
Montreal Impact: Perkins - Brovsky , Ferrari , Nesta , Camara - Mapp , Mallace, Bernier , Arnaud - Wenger , Di Vaio